SALISBURY — The architects behind the Somerset County Technical High School in Westover accepted additional awards for their design of the state-of-the-art LEED Gold facility which opened to students in 2019.
Becker Morgan Group received two American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards — the AIA Maryland Merit Award for Institutional Architecture and the AIA Chesapeake Bay Merit award for Non-Residential New Construction.
Those honors are in addition to being named the 2020 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mid-Atlantic K-12 Education Project of the Year.
Becker Morgan Group worked in conjunction with Somerset County Public Schools and the Somerset County Economic Development Commission (EDC) to design a facility that would provide students with expanded opportunities and accommodate the current and future local job market.
EDC Director Danny Thompson said the facility “prepares our students with trade skillsets and hands-on training to use immediately upon graduation.” The school “was designed to allow students to enter the workforce with above-average wages in the immediate area and be better prepared for future opportunities.”
With 103,000 square feet the building can accommodate 400 students. It was dedicated on Nov. 9, 2019 with the state covering 93% of the total $42 million construction costs.
Becker Morgan Group’s architectural team, led by firm principal Brad Hastings, AIA, incorporated the stakeholders’ objectives into the facility’s design. The thoughtful alignment between mission and function caught the attention of the AIA Maryland Design awards jury.
“[We are] very excited to see a trade school executed with this level of design and engineering,” he commented. “This project is the perfect execution of elegant practicality. It is simple, clean, beautiful, and every component provides opportunities for connecting and learning — whether you are watching the construction class build their prototypes through the hallway windows, growing the food you are learning to cook, or catching a glimpse of the colorful data wires, ductwork, and trusses exposed above. It is refreshing to see practical skills honored with craft and thoughtfulness.”
A spokesperson for Becker Morgan Group said the company “is proud to have partnered with Somerset County Public Schools to bring this award-winning facility to the Somerset County community and the State of Maryland.”